German-Israeli Youth Exchange 2012 in Herzliya

30.03. - Day 1

Early in the morning the German delegation met at the airport. Everybody was very excited to travel to Israel. After the security check we had a calm flight. As we arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv, it was a big and nice suprise for us to see the Israelis waiting for us. Together we drove to Nachsholim, a former Kibbuz at the Mediterranean Sea. There we had a very funny evening, talking, playing and laughing together.

31.03. - Day 2

The day started sunny and with a delicious breakfast. The Germans met Hanna, the head of the organisation DIALOG and her daugther to talk about the coming days and the program. Then the Israelis joined us again for a workshop about the history of Israel. In small groups we disussed important historical events before and after our birth, which was very impressive. During lunch break we spent our time at the beach. While the Israelis covered themselves in blankets most of the Germans ran into the water. Also we explored some ruins of a former crusader village. In the afternoon we had a talk with the 99-year-old woman Gretel Maron, who immigrated 1934 to Israel.  Afterwards the Israelis had to leave. So we had to say goodbye, atleast for a few days. The Germans spent the evening alone playing some games.

01.04. - Day 3

Ein Gedi was the destination of our third day. On the way we stopped at different places. The first stop we did in Haifa and visited the Bahai Garden. The Shrine in the garden was very impressive. Before we arrived at Belvoir which was the last fortress of the crusaders that was conquered by the arabs we ate some tasty falafel. Suddenly our bus had a puncture right in the desert. With the power of everyone we solved the problem with the tire - so our trip went on to the accommodation. In the evening we went to the dead sea and enjoyed the rest of our evening and warm salty air.

02.04. - Day 4

The fourth day we started with a tour to Massada. The view from the top was so awesome and the sun was burning. We learned much about the historical monument and the people who lived there. After that we went to the lowest point of earth - the dead sea - where we chilled for a while. Some meters next to the sea we spent some time in the oasis Ein Gedi. We climbed along the rocks and enjoyed the fresh water of the waterfall. A few hours later we arrived in Jerusalem to see the mount of olives and to learn about the meaning of this place. The evening we slept in a nice hotel.

03.04. - Day 5

The first day in Jerusalem we woke up in our fancy hotel and started our guided tour with our beloved Andreas. In the morning we went to Yad Vashem. After this we walked through the Kitron valley, it was so hot that we needed to get a break in the city centre with Falafel and self-made lemonade – delicious!  Thanks to Hannes we got a beautiful view over Jerusalem from the top of the Austrian Hotel. Then we crossed the bazar and until we reached the western wall, there we got the chance to make a wish. Later we went to the Church of Holy Sepulchre which was very impressive because so many Christians come there to pray at Jesus grave. Later we went to a bar for a nice end of the evening.

04.04. - Day 6

At an unearthly hour we went to the Temple Mount and waited at the queue, at the Dome of Rock we had some spare-time so we could enjoy the beauty of the place. Afterwards we had a lot free-time for shopping more falafel and lemonade until we met with a Christian Arab and talked about living in Jerusalem with all its troubles and aspects. Then we grabbed our stuff and drove to Herzlya where our friends were already waiting for us. It was a very warm welcome there and we played some games until we got into the host-families and had a nice evening.

05.04. - Day 7

It was the first morning in our host family. With the train we drove to Tel Aviv. Then our guided city tour started in Jaffa in the Peres Peace Center. The whole day we walked through Tel Aviv and the teens informed us about the most important sights.
When we were in Herzliya again we met at Danny's place and watched a basketball game. Tel Aviv against Athens. But sadly Athens won.

06.04. - Day 8

We got up later than the last days. After Breakfast in our host families we travelled to Appolonia, a wildlife park.
For lunch we went to the sea. We swam a little, relaxed on the beach and did some sports. At the evening we were in the host families and enjoyed the seder pessach. It was very interesting to see how other cultures work.

07.04. - Day 9

That day we visited the north of Isreal. We started in Acco, where Etai had prepared a nice game about the history of the city. We explored the old castle with its many tunnels and halls. After that, we went to the bazaar of Acco. You could see and buy everything there!
Our second station was the grotto of Rosh Hanikra. It is a beatiful place where the sea formed an awesome cave into the rock at the shore. We walked through the caves and saw a movie about the history of the place afterwards, which was full of special effects like showers of water.
In the evening we all met at Pazit's place for barbeque. We had a nice last evening with everybody when we talked, played and ate together. Afterwards some of us went to a park in Herzliya to enjoy the rest of the night.

08.04. - Day 10

The last day has come too fast. We all met in the centre of Herzliya to watch a movie together. It was a German-Israeli co-production called "The Flat", about a jew in Germany who tried to explore his family history.
After the movie we had a little evaluation of the trip, and then the saying goodbye began. It was very sad and emotional, after all the nice time together. But as the bus came the Germans had to leave to the airport.
It was an awesome trip and a good opportunity to meet new (or old) people and make new friends!